It is the dream of every human heart to live in a world where we feel comfortable, safe and invited to be our fullest and most authentic selves - in peace, love and joy amongst all. In such a world, happiness would be the inevitable norm. Rather than hide the energy and free expression of who each one of us is, individuals would be made to feel held and reciprocated for their existence by the presence of the collective as a whole. The power of humanity would be thriving. What a dream, right?
In considering what it would take to make this happen, it seems to me that it all simply boils down to the need for there to be a publicly accepted and experienced reality where each one of us feels and knows that each person out there on the street, whether stranger or long time friend, truly sees and is there for us. Now as simple and yet radical as that sounds, it is my feeling that this reality is not only possible, but is inevitable as long as each one of us as individuals starts taking even the smallest steps to be the change we would wish to experience in such a world. In asking myself what I could do in my life to make this vision more easily realized, a simple theme that has been coming up in my life since my experiences in places such as Peru (where it is common culture to greet the people you walk by on the streets) is the overall conduct and presence we give off in public. What do we do when passing by someone? And what can we do differently to make ourselves and one another feel better about being in the presence of "strangers"?
We live in a world of billions of others. Everyday, we walk by countless people on the streets. Now different places have different overall vibes; some very friendly, some more reserved. Still, in many places, we are bound to experience perhaps the most common phenomena known to modern man: despite us being aware of the fellow humans who pass by us, whether on the sidewalk, on the bus, in a coffee shop or at the mall, for some given reason, we often basically pretend they don't exist.
Although this is accepted as absolutely normal, in actuality it is pretty darn strange. We are social beings. We want nothing more than to connect, because we thrive and are fed off of the life within our interactions. It's the simplest sense that we are seen and acknowledged as we are that can instill all the self esteem we could ever need in order to carry on with our day experiencing the radiance of our own being. And yet we deny each other, and thus ourselves, of this gift of recognition because we have not fully accepted what effects this implication can have if taken to heart and used in a daily setting.
The thing about humans is that we are far more than what we verbally acknowledge. Before we formally meet someone, if we are aware of their presence at the same time as they are of ours, then we have already made a sort of energetic connection. Therein lies the subtle awareness of the space between two human beings, opening a portal into both worlds from in between. Within this space lies room for actualized connection -- a rabbit hole of deep potential. And yet, this subtle connection essentially means nothing initially – it simply means that we are aware of each others’ presence. The fact that this connection means nothing, does not, however, mean that within that space lies nothing - because within it lies everything.
So for me, as I have become more sensitive to others, I find this approach towards others to be phony or devoid of the innate essence of what it means to be human; to be human is to be social or connected. More and more it seems that perhaps to pretend we are not aware of someone’s presence is to be dishonest with the fact that we feel and are aware of their humanity.
Now I am not saying by any means that it is a good idea to go out of your way to acknowledge every single individual within your field of vision throughout the day. And I am not saying that with every being we make contact with we should delve straight into their soul. A meaningful acknowledgment can be found in the simplest, subtlest gestures – a nod of the head, a wave.
To be fair, attempting to acknowledge everyone’s presence in a meaningful way is obviously not always right or necessary - and that's okay. My point in writing this article is simply to empower us as a society to become more attuned to what we are feeling energetically, and in becoming more present to the spaces for connection that are available to us between one another, to play with the idea of what acts of authenticity or positivity we can teach ourselves and one another to consider on the other side of uncertainty.
Perhaps the space between this world and the one we dream of is the space between one another. What tiny shifts can we make in our lives to get us one step closer? I am not asking anything of anyone. May this posting simply be an invitation for all who feel inspired to join me in playing with this idea a little more.